Procrastination: 10 Days to Stop Being Lazy by David Patton

Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:   Procrastination: 10 Days to Stop Being Lazy by David Patton
Subtitle: A Step by Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating in 10 Days, Form Productive Habits and Get More Done

Synopsis of Content:  

Patton defines procrastination in terms of avoidance, denial, distraction and emotional maneuvering.  He then outlines a process whereby you can change a habit to be used to change the habit of procrastination.

The chapter on why we procrastinate is thorough. Patton delves into the many well-recognized reasons why people procrastinate. This is followed by a chapter on how to set goals, prioritize and manager time. Here is discusses the SMART method of goal setting. He also discusses the Eisenhower Matrix with its four quadrants of urgent, not urgent, important and not important.

Chapter 4 discusses how to motivate oneself. He talks about the Fogg Behavior Model. This is followed by a chapter on how to automate and sustain action.

This is a good primer on well-established knowledge about procrastination and techniques to overcome it. There is nothing new here but the report, at 22 pages, is easy to read through and covers the main points well. For those struggling with procrastination this little book provides an excellent introduction to the subject and some great methods to overcome it.

What I found useful about this book:

This book captures the essential information needed to understand procrastination and develop ways to defeat it. It is short enough to read in one sitting. This book or report is small but it captures the essentials of how to understand procrastination and how to fight it.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

This small book is very readable. It is well organized. Most people could read it in one sitting.

Other Books by This Author:

A report on One Easy Technique to Master Time and Reach Goals

Related Website:   

Download the book here: http://amzn.to/2pfoY2P

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:  

  1. Use the SMART goal method to set realistic, measurable and achievable goals.
  2. Use the Eisenhower Matrix to prioritize your tasks and activities to get the important things done first.
  3. Use triggers to motivate yourself and get things done.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Procrastination: 10 Days to Stop Being Lazy by David Patton
Copyright holder: David Patton
Publisher: Self published on Amazon.com

Buy the book here.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Will You Pay the Price?

Benjamin P. Hardy, a doctoral candidate in psychology, recently wrote a post on the on-line journal Thrive Global about achieving anything you want if you pay the price. Hardy’s premise is an old one. If you are willing to pay the price, sharpen your focus, stop wasting your time and say no to a lot of things you can pursue your dream and achieve what you wish to achieve.

Hardy is right. If you are willing to pay the price there is little you cannot achieve. But the more you want to achieve the higher the price. The price is what you must give up to attain what you want. Hardy glances over this aspect of the formula. Can you devote the time you want to devote to family and friends, to your favorite hobbies, and to other activities that are important to you, and still maintain that level of devotion required to attain your goal? That is the difficult question that anyone who has pursued a challenging goal has had to struggle with. It can be a very difficult struggle.

How badly do you want to achieve your goal? That is the question. You must say no to a great many things to achieve something great. Are you willing to do that? I have long found this question fascinating. I’ve seen many people pay the price and achieve the goal. Some of them believe it was well worth it, some regret the price they paid.

Hardy’s list of things you can achieve and the prices you must pay to achieve it are informative and inspiring. In the end though the answer to the question are you willing to pay the price can only be answered by you. It is an intriguing question for us all. How badly do you want what you think you want to achieve? How high a price are you willing to pay?

In the end you will only know if it was worth it if you try it. You must have the drive to achieve what you want and then the discipline to pay that price. Once you have paid that price and achieved that goal, only then can you know if it was worth it for you.

So how badly do you want to achieve your audacious goal? How high a price are you willing to pay to achieve it?

You can read Hardy’s post here and then think about what you want to achieve and what price you are willing to pay.

What do you think?

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Focus – The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman

Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:  Focus – The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman

Synopsis of Content:

This book is about how we pay attention to the world around us and to what we do. It is about how we focus on things, or fail to. It is also about the consequences of how we focus or fail to, from how it affects our personal achievement and performance to how it may affect the fate of human kind.

Goleman begins by explaining how we pay attention, how we focus and how we make fundamental decisions based on an overview of the anatomy of our brain. He explains the difference between “bottom up” thinking, where our more primitive brain (the amygdala) drives basic reactive thought and instinct based fast thought, such as what drives us (food, sex, emotion) and the slower “top down” thinking that emanates from our more advanced pre-frontal cortex or executive functioning brain. Critically to understand how these work one must also understand how they conflict and how they complement one another. Understanding the way the brain works helps us understand and influence whether we merely react or whether we control our thought.

The book then goes on to explore a somewhat eclectic selection of brain functions and attributes that form our thought processes. He explores how we perceive others, or “read” them; the role of empathy in our thinking; how we perceive patterns or fail to; how we act upon immediate threats but largely ignore distant threats; and how these thinking patterns help us to succeed and to fail.

He discusses how not the amount of practice but the quality of practice defines how proficient we are. He challenges the 10,000 hour myth, in which it is argued that a talent or skill is developed to proficiency with 10,000 hours of practice explaining that proficiency and mastery require quality practice for many hours.

He then applies these ideas to what makes a more effective and well-focused leader and ultimately how our success or failure to apply these ideas may well spell survival or death to human civilization.

What I did not like about this book:

The book starts out examining how we think and learn without an apparent agenda. In the end there clearly is an agenda. Goleman does not merely prescribe how our focus can make us succeed as leaders but in the end how it can cause us to fail as a species due to what he argues is our Achilles heel: our apparent inability to adequately recognize long term threats and act in the present to avoid them.

In doing this he advances an argument that our failure to recognize the ultimate environmental threat we face (primarily human driven climate change) may well lead to our destruction. He offers little to suggest how we overcome this fate, if indeed it is our fate.

What I found useful about this book:

Despite its shortcomings the book is an excellent introduction into how our minds work in terms of attention and focus and how that influences what we achieve or fail to achieve. It teaches how a complex interrelationship between our more primitive thinking and our more sophisticated thought processes can work together to be very effective.

He also provides some insight into the crucial role that emotions can play both to our detriment and to help us succeed more effectively. He also explains how we can be more effective as a leader by understanding these aspects of our brain and using that knowledge to control what we do and how we do it.

Ultimately the book is about what we pay attention to and how we do so. It is about how our use of focus can help us and our failure to be aware of it can hurt us.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

The book is well written and well organized. The writing is stimulating and engaging. He makes the reader think and helps the reader to understand disparate concepts that work as a whole.

Notes on Author:

Daniel Goleman is a former science journalist and author. He also speaks publically. He cofounded the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning at Yale University and now at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Other Books by This Author:

Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence

The Brain and Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

Creative Spirit

In all Goleman has written 13 books related to emotion, the mind and leadership.

Related Website:

http://www.danielgoleman.info/

http://www.eiconsortium.org/index.html

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. Our thinking is driven by two different brain functions, a bottom up primitive process centered in the amygdala and a more sophisticated reasoning process, or top down process, driven by the pre-frontal cortex. Understanding how these different forms of thought influence us can help us to be more effective in our thinking.
  1. It is possible to train ourselves to focus more intently and intentionally which can protect us from more turbulent emotional thought. This can reduce anxiety and other emotional functions that are defeating.
  1. While focus and disciplined thought are important and helpful to us daydreaming and unfocused thought also play a vital role in creativity and problems solving. It is critical to use both types of thinking.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Focus – The Hidden Driver of Excellence by Daniel Goleman

Copyright holder: 2013 by Daniel Goleman

Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers, NY.

Get the book here:

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

The Incremental Formula for Success and Failure

The only thing more rare than instant failure is instant success. It does happen on rare occasion. But in almost every instance success and failure are the result of an incremental process that takes months or years to occur. The success philosopher Jim Rohn wrote:

“Failure is not a single, cataclysmic event. We do not fail overnight. Failure is the inevitable result of an accumulation of poor thinking and poor choices. To put it more simply, failure is nothing more than a few errors in judgment repeated every day.

Now why would someone make an error in judgment and then be so foolish as to repeat it every day? The answer is because he or she does not think that it matters.”

If you eat one doughnut your health will not fail. It will not kill you. And that is exactly what you think, one doughnut will not kill me. Nor will one cigarette or one day without exercise. One night of not enough sleep will not kill you. Failing to read a good book in three months will not lead to ignorance or failure. But repeat these things over and over and failure will result. Do the right things, eating that apple or getting enough sleep or getting exercise – do those things with regularity and success occurs.

The Formula for Failure

Rohn observed, “Failure’s most dangerous attribute is its subtlety. In the short term those little errors don’t seem to make any difference. We do not seem to be failing. In fact, sometimes these accumulated errors in judgment occur throughout a period of great joy and prosperity in our lives. Since nothing terrible happens to us, since there are no instant consequences to capture our attention, we simply drift from one day to the next, repeating the errors, thinking the wrong thoughts, listening to the wrong voices and making the wrong choices. The sky did not fall in on us yesterday; therefore the act was probably harmless. Since it seemed to have no measurable consequence, it is probably safe to repeat.

On their own, our daily acts do not seem that important. A minor oversight, a poor decision, or a wasted hour generally doesn’t result in an instant and measurable impact. More often than not, we escape from any immediate consequences of our deeds.”

The Formula for Success

Success is the result of the sustained practice of doing the right things. It is the result of disciplined repetition. Doing the right thing over and over leads to success. Doing one thing once is not what is required. The success mentality looks far into the future and recognizes that what we do regularly, what we do every day, leads to success, or failure.

This ability to look into the future and see the collective result of repeated efforts (or failures) is what distinguishes success from failure. Allowing oneself to be caught up in the instant moment and disregarding the long term cumulative effect of what we do leads to failure.

Jim Rohn left a treasure of wisdom like this.

Read Jim Rohn’s full article here.

Learn more about Jim Rohn and his teachings on personal development and creating wealth here.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Achieve Anything in Just One Year by Jason Harvey

Book Review by Daniel R. Murphy

Title and Author:  Achieve Anything in Just One Year by Jason Harvey

Synopsis of Content:

Harvey has compiled in this book a daily meditation and inspiration for how to achieve more. For each day there is an inspirational quote from an author or leader, some questions to stimulate your thinking and a lesson which often requires you to do something.  There are 365 such pages, one for each day of a year. You can start any time as they are not tied to any dates.

While you could sit down and read this book through its real value is to use it one page per day for a year. Harvey challenges the reader to move beyond where they are now in life, even if they feel stuck, and to expand your potential and accomplish more.

Each day has a lesson and an assignment. Some of the assignments are generalized, challenging you to think in a different way or to interact with others in a different way. Other assignments are more specific challenging you to do one thing differently.

The book is part inspiration – and it is very inspirational – and part a book of exercises and lessons to move you forward in the areas where the author has found people most often stuck or lacking proper action or reflection. The book is also a day by day recipe for constant personal development.

Each page can be read in five minutes or less, and many only take a minute to read. The exercises and assignments however take more time – as much as you are willing to devote to make positive changes in your life.

It does not matter where you might be on your road to success and achievement nor does it really matter what you are attempting to achieve. It would serve people in business, in their private lives, or in any personal success path.

The book is not preachy but it does deliver valuable lessons that are classic success ideas. Harvey gives you a little push and what you do with that is entirely up to you.

What I did not like about this book:

The book would benefit from a table of contents and a good index. While the day by day progression is good the book contains a lot of wisdom that would be easier to access if it had a good index.

What I found useful about this book:

The daily quotations are real gems and come from many different sources. The book is almost worth its price just to get those quotes. The real value though goes far beyond the quotes. The inspirational lessons and the exercises are excellent day by day steps to make progress.

One of the book’s advantages is that you do not have to wade through hundreds of pages and then try to draw broad lessons from them. The daily format lets you move through the book gradually without spending more than five minutes a day reading.

After a year the reader will have covered 365 pages but more importantly the reader will have moved through a set of lessons and exercises that can change perceptions, beliefs, and patterns of thought and action.

Readability/Writing Quality:  

The book is well written and very easy to read. The day by day format slows you down and forces you to do what should be done with every good book on personal development and success – it forces the reader to understand, think about and use the book’s content. It is like having a one year success coach.

Notes on Author:

Jason Harvey is a certified life coach. He is founder of the Limitless Institute, a nonprofit organization dedicated to research on human potential. Harvey lives in Canada.

To read more about the author and about his purpose in writing this book read the Books2Wealth exclusive interview with Jason at: Interviews.

Related Website:

http://jasonharvey.com/

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. This book contains 365 ideas you can use, but for this review I will include just three: your power of choice more than your abilities define your potential. Look at the choices you make where they have led you. Consider that each choice you make defines your limits and your potential.
  1. “A missed opportunity is worse than a defeat”. Be alert to opportunity and be willing to seize it when it becomes apparent. So much is missed when we let opportunity pass by.
  1. “All things are difficult before they are easy”, Thomas Fuller. Resist the inner thinking that you are not good enough, smart enough or otherwise unable to do something. Stop limiting yourself. If you want to achieve something do the work and it can happen.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author: Achieve Anything in Just One Year by Jason Harvey

Copyright holder: 2010 by Jason Harvey

Publisher: Amazing Life Press, Canada

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Should You Have a Board of Directors?

Leadership author, speaker and consultant James Strock recently wrote a blog post titled, “A Board of Directors for Your Life and Career?” Strock used the example of a famous 20th century actor named John Barrymore. Barrymore wanted to advance his career and consulted with several people to advise him. He called it his Board of Strategy. It was an informal group including critics, playwrights and teachers. His board advised him to work on his voice and he did. The result was described as transformative. He began to get serious parts, not just the light comedic parts he had been getting.

Would you benefit from your own board of strategy?

When we think of a board of directors we imagine a group of serious business people seated around an impressive table in an impressive room working through a formal agenda and directing the policies and activity of a company. A board of directors sets down directives – it tells management what to achieve and what policies to follow. I do not think most of us have a “board room”, nor do most of us want a group of other people telling us what we must do – directing us. That is why it is called a board of directors – because it directs us.

What we may want and what would benefit us is a board of advisors. This board does not have to meet formally or at all. There is no need for a board room. You can meet with your advisors either individually or in small groups. If you are contemplating a major change in your life you may want to assemble them in one room if you can to get the benefit of the synergy of a group process.

We can all benefit from advisors. We all need honest evaluation from others that we trust. Whether it is a trusted friend, colleague, accountant, attorney, or spouse, we can benefit from seeking their advice and ideas. The final decisions about what we are going to do are ours to make. But the advice from others can be invaluable, especially if you choose these advisors carefully.

I prefer to call this group a board of advisors. We should all have such advisors whom we can consult as the need arises. I suggest these guidelines about the people you seek advice from:

  1. You should be able to trust them.
  2. They should be willing to advise you honestly, even when the honesty may sting a bit. You need objective advice, not yes men.
  3. They should have some knowledge about what you seek advice about. You do not seek legal advice from your plumber or plumbing advice from your attorney.
  4. You should be willing to give something in exchange for their help. If they are giving professional advice you will likely have to pay them. If they are giving more personal advice perhaps you can agree to serve them advising them when they seek advice or doing other things for them.
  5. Be selective about when and how you seek their advice. Do not abuse the privilege.
  6. Whether you follow their advice or not you should thank them sincerely for their help.

We can all benefit from the advice and help of others. You may not want a board of directors, but would you benefit from a board (or group) of advisors?

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Introducing Mark Struczewski

Is productivity a problem for you? Do you struggle with procrastination at times? I want to introduce you to my friend Mark Struczeewski who specializes in helping people conquer procrastination and become more productive. Mark has a blog, https://markstruczewski.com/ , speaks publicly and offers coaching. I have been a long time subscribe to his newsletter and find his work helpful.

Mark wrote How to Overcome Roadblocks on the Path to Your Success, and A Succes Fou Life: What It Is and How You Can Live It (2012). On his blog he uses a lot of video so if you like that you will love his blog.

I will be reviewing his new book here later this year. Check him out, I guarantee you will learn something useful.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

A Books2Wealth Classic and Book of the Month for January 2014

Title and Author: As A Man Thinketh by James Allen

Synopsis of Content:

The essence of this little book is that what a man thinks is what the man becomes. Or in today’s parlance, what a person thinks determines what the person becomes. This little book, 31 pages in the pocket edition, is a powerful explanation of the New Thought concepts popular at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. This was the new thinking a century ago about how we become what we become. Fortunately for us most if not all this theory is equally useful today as it was a hundred years ago even if it is not as unique as it may have seemed then.

Our Thoughts Control Our Circumstances 

Allen begins with a discussion of how out thoughts affect our circumstances. He describes this in two different aspects. First he explains what we now know as the law of attraction – what we think about enough will be attracted to us. Second he dwells on the need to transform thought into action – the need to transform ourselves in order to obtain what we seek in life.

Avoiding Fear and Negative Thinking 

In the second part of the little book Allen discusses the power of thought and conviction on our health and wellbeing. He tells us that those who live in fear of illness become ill. Again, he is applying the law of attraction.

Dominant Purpose 

The third section is devoted to the importance of a single dominant purpose in our lives. Here we find the same thinking that Orison Swett Marden was writing about in the United States during the same period and later the same general thinking was carried forward by Napoleon Hill. While I cannot now say for sure it seems likely that both Andrew Carnegie and Napoleon Hill were influenced to some extent by Allen’s little book. We see the same basic teachings in The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles, an American contemporary of Allen.

Allen completes the book with a section on how thought factors into achievement and finally the importance of serenity.

Allen’s little book was a hit a century ago when he published it and has remained in print and of interest ever since. Og Mandino said that this little book was among the top ten success books of all time and I don’t disagree. It is not possible in this short article to delve into the depth and wisdom of this little book. While the writing style is a bit dated and the density of the prose requires one’s full attention and thoughtful reflection there is no better example of a small manual on how to pursue self-development in how we think and how we use thought.

Most people could read this little gem in an evening, but few could fully mine its depth in a hundred evenings. This is one to reread again and again. Like an onion, the more one studies it the more one uncovers between its covers.

This little book is a must read for anyone serious about a study of success and of maintaining even a minimal success library. And on that subject, it is important to review a number of these success books over time to obtain the depth they have to offer. Only by reading several authors will the real color of this thinking completely develop in your mind.

Readability/Writing Quality:   

This little book was originally published in 1902 and has remained in print for over 110 years. It is surprisingly readable for a book written a century ago. I like the Executive Books version because it has good headings.

Notes on Author:

Allen was a British subject who wrote a number of books including this one for which he is best known. He died in 1912. This book is the best known but he wrote 20 books. Ironically he thought this book was one of his least significant works.

Three Great Ideas You Can Use:

  1. “Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bad fruit”. We create, to a great extent, our own circumstances and outcomes by the way we think.
  1. “You will become as small as your controlling desire; as great as your dominant aspiration.”
  1. Calmness of mind is a jewel of wisdom. The calm man learns to govern himself.

Publication Information:  

Title and Author:  As a Man Thinketh by James Allen

Copyright holder: the original copyright has expired; various publishers have added headings and other material to copyright it. The copy I have is copyrighted by Executive Books 2001.

Publisher: there are various publishers; my copy is from Executive Books

 

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Information Overload – Learn How to Manage It All

Forbes.com featured an article with 10 Steps to conquer information over load. The article was written by Laura Shin. She points to the many sources of this over load, even the grocery store. ““In 1976, there were 9,000 products in the average grocery store, and now it’s ballooned to 40,000 products. And yet most of us can get almost all our shopping done in just 150 items, so you’re having to ignore tens of thousands of times every time you go shopping,” he says””. The “he” she is quoting is Daniel Levitin, McGill University psychology professor and author of The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload.

She notes that by one calculation we have created more information in the last ten years than I all of human history before that. The average American receives five times more information every day than they did in 1986.

Here are Levitin’s ten steps to getting control of it all:

  1. Do a brain dump

Follow the advice of productivity “guru” David Allen in his book Getting Things Done and get stuff out of your brain. As important information comes to you write it down immediately, this allows you to let go of that information in your mind. Allen then provides a serious of steps for how to organize and use that information.

  1. Follow the Two-Minute Rule

If a task can be done in two minutes or less get it done now. If it cannot be done in two minutes put it on a to-do list and do it when you have time.

  1. Clump together similar tasks

For example, return phone calls all at one time. Pay all the bills due at the same time. Complete one set of tasks before moving on to others. Resist distractions from this.

  1. Do not multitask

Research shows we do not perform well when multitasking. Focus on one task at a time. Eliminate distractions from that task.

  1. Limit email distractions.

Turn off audible signals that you have new email. Set aside certain times in your day to review and respond to email. If you need to turn email off the rest of the time.

  1. “Eat the frog” first thing in the morning.

Follow the advice of movie producer Jake Edwards and success expert Brian Tracy to “eat the frog” first thing in the day. That is, take on your most difficult or unpleasant task first thing in the morning, get it done and move on.

  1. Spend only as much time on decisions and tasks as they need.

Sometimes we devote more time to a decision or task then it really needs. It is better to assess how important the decision or task is and how easily it can be efficiently dealt with. For example Levitin says if you think you need to keep five year old bills and receipts just throw them in a box in case you need them, do not spend hours organizing something you’ll likely never need.

  1. Take breaks.

Taking a 15 minute break every couple of hours can make you more efficient and effective. Listening to music, taking a walk or even a short nap can recharge you and make you more effective.

  1. Daydream now and then.

Levitin says, “The brain operates in two oppositional modes: “one is when you’re directing the thoughts, and the other is when the thoughts take over and run themselves,” says Levitin. Directing mode is the one that allows us to get our work done, whether we’re an office worker, chef or tile layer, but our minds can’t stay in one gear all day long.

In daydreaming mode, says Levitin, “one thought melds into another and they’re not particularly related.” This daydreaming mode acts as a neural reset button and replenishes some of the glucose you use up in staying on a task.”

  1. Push against authority.

By this Levitin means to give workers in an organization as much autonomy as possible because people are happier and more productive if they have some autonomy.

This is a great list of ways to maintain focus, limit distractions and improve your effectiveness. Limiting information over load is about controlling how much information you are exposed to so as not to overwhelm yourself. I add these ideas as well:

  1. Limit internet use.

The internet is a great resource and you can learn a great deal from its content. You can also get mired in too much information. Turn off notifications from social media and other sources that will interrupt you and usually with information of little value. If you decide to “surf the web” set a time limit and avoid doing it throughout the day.

  1. Be selective about what you read.

With e-readers, internet content, magazines and books there is an endless source of information to read. The problem is that if you do not limit your reading you can be overwhelmed with information. You will not retain it, analyze it or make use of it.

The bottom line is that you must control how much information you read or listen to. Use what is truly useful to you or truly inspiring to you. Be aware of how well you are understanding and retaining what you read, see and hear. Our ability to take in and process information is limited. You must be discerning about it.

Learn how to manage your time to achieve more of what you want to do in my book, Effective Time Management. Get free lessons on how to use your time more effectively with my Effective Time Management Lessons.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com

Marcus Aurelius on Work

wikipedia.com

Once in a while, not very often, I want to stay in bed on a work day for just a little longer, especially if I stayed up too late, did not sleep well or if it is cold and stormy out.  But most mornings I get out of bed readily thinking about the day ahead. On weekdays it is the day of work ahead.

Perhaps I am lucky you might think. I am lucky I suppose that I have my health and I find my work rewarding and fulfilling. When you feel well and find your work fulfilling it is much easier to get up. I will claim credit however for choosing work that I enjoy and find fulfilling. If you can possibly do that I highly recommend it.

Two thousand years ago most people did not need to find their work fulfilling to get up in the morning. They had to get up and they had to work if they wanted to eat. (Well, I suppose it is no different for most of us today.) Even two millennia ago though there were the rich, the idle and the powerful who did not need to get up in the morning. They could lounge in bed as long as they wanted, and many of them did.

One notable man who did not was the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius. So much has been written about how bad many of those emperors were that it is refreshing to find one who was good. Aurelius was a very hard working man. He left us his thoughts on life and on work in a collection of writings that are called Meditations. You can get a free copy of it from Kindle or visit your library. Meditations is full of advice and wisdom that ring as true today as they did so long ago.

He wrote: “At dawn, when you have trouble getting out of bed, tell yourself: “I have to go to work — as a human being. What do I have to complain of, if I’m going to do what I was born for — the things I was brought into the world to do? Or is this what I was created for? To huddle under the blankets and stay warm?”

Taking is lessons from nature he observed: “So you were born to feel “nice”? Instead of doing things and experiencing them? Don’t you see the plants, the birds, the ants and spiders and bees going about their individual tasks, putting the world in order, as best they can? And you’re not willing to do your job as a human being? Why aren’t you running to do what your nature demands?”

Laying about and enjoying the warm bed is a treat and on a Sunday morning you may well give it to yourself as a little gift. But most days you will experience more in life by getting up (the earlier the better) and diving in. You will do your work and achieve something. There is satisfaction in that.

Aurelius was a stoic and it informed his philosophy. Whether or not you like the ideas of stoicism you can learn a lot from this man who thought deeply about what he did and why.

I have a copy of Mediations and I refer to it often. It is full of gems. I recommend it.

I also recommend Maria Popova’s blog Brain Pickings. It is the source of these quotes and the inspiration for this little article. She writes well researched and inspiring articles. I hope you check her blog out.

Check out Mediations as well and bounce out of bed in the morning to take on the day and do something useful and important. It will make you feel good and I think it will help make life worth living.

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.
www.danielrmurphy.com
www.books2wealth.com